The US military is interested in Google’s upcoming modular smartphone

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We’ve already explored the benefits of Google’s modular phone from a consumer perspective, but what about the potential applications for business, emergency response and even the military? That’s what Vanderbilt’s Institute for Software Integration Systems (ISIS) seems to wondering as well. Under the guidance of former DARPA program manager Janos Sztipanovits, Gizmodo writer Adam Clark Estes discovered that ISIS is currently exploring ways to take advantage of the project’s modular nature. Unsurprisingly, the thing ISIS finds most attractive is the fact that you can swap parts out at will.

In its small red brick headquarters, Vanderbilt’s Institute for Software Integration Systems (ISIS) is working on a revolution in smartphone technology. It’s not better screens, or battery life, or anything for a major carrier. It’s a puzzle-piece phone that will (hopefully) change the way the military communicates. Headed by former DARPA program manager Janos Sztipanovits, ISIS is already responsible for part of the military’s efforts to build a hyper-secure smartphone. The institute plays a key role in DARPA’s Transformative Apps program, the Department of Defense’s attempt to create an app ecosystem that soldiers can use on the battlefield. But funding for TransApp will run out at the end of the year, so naturally project lead Sandeep Neema is looking for the next big thing. In a recent interview, he told me that thing is, without a doubt, Google’s Project Ara and the modular smartphone. You’ve no doubt heard of Project Ara. Initially developed by the Advanced Technologies and Products (ATAP) team at Motorola Mobility, Project Ara aims to build the foundation for a completely modular smartphone that will cost only about $50. It’s the realistic attempt to bring the pie-in-the-sky the dream of PhoneBloks into the real world.

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